Every year as winter approaches, many Newport parents wonder if they should get their kids a flu shot.
Everyone gets the flu, right? Is it that big of a deal?
In most cases, the flu is an inconvenience, but not detrimental beyond missing a few days of school. However, Newport pediatricians caution that it is extremely important for high risk kids to get a flu shot. Ditto if your child is in regular contact with a high risk person.
What qualifies a child as high risk? Newport experts say that chronic medical conditions such as diabetes or asthma puts a child at greater risk because the flu can contribute to serious complications. Many Newport doctors also recommend flu shots for all children under five years old. Newport experts advise getting your child’s flu vaccination as early as possible, in August or September or as soon as it is available, to protect them through the entire season which generally lasts from October to April.
Remember that two shots are required for children under the age of eight, given four weeks apart, for full protection your first year of getting vaccinated. Just one shot per year is needed after that.
Flumist is a nasal spray vaccine that can be given to healthy children ages two and up, an option that can be more child friendly. Side effects from either method of vaccination may include runny nose, muscle aches, vomiting, or low grade fever. The new flu vaccines offer protection from both H1N1 and the seasonal flu.
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